MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – CRAIG MCCORKELL
Name: Craig McCorkell
Birthplace: Haywardes, U.K.
Current Residence: West Sussex, U.K.
Profession: Professional Poker Player (4 years)
Previous Occupation: College Student
Marital Status: Single
Number of WSOP Cashes: 5 Number of WSOP final table appearances: 1
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP finish: 26th (2010)
Total WSOP Earnings: $407,776
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
Question: When you were playing three-handed, you had the lowest chip stack. Did you ever imagine that you’d be here an hour later as the winner?
McCorkell: Yeah. I mean, I was down to 10 big blinds at one point, three-handed. But there’s only 5.2 million in play, and I still had 700,000. And Antonio did have run bad, especially when he lost nines versus sevens to have all the chips going into heads up basically. But I was still aware that anything could happen three-handed. And I had a good chance.
Question: This was probably the most exciting table we’ve had in terms of the rail. Did that help you or distract you?
McCorkell: Obviously it’s awesome. There was an incident with a couple of people getting kicked out of here, but whatever. There was not one single person at the final, when we were ten-handed, complaining about the noise of anything. Everyone was enjoying it. It was good banter between everyone. There was nothing bad going on. It was really good. It added to the atmosphere of the final, for sure.
Question: What’s next for you now?
McCorkell: Yeah. Nothing’s going to change. Just going to play every single event left and just try to get another bracelet I guess.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background before you came to poker?
McCorkell: I started playing poker at university. I dropped out of university four and half years ago now to play poker professionally. And, yeah, just been playing tournaments for the past couple of years, after playing cash before that. And, yeah, just kind of culminated in this.
Question: I know you guys got everything worked out, but on the stream there was kind of some confusion when you guys stopped to talk a little bit about the deal. Can you talk about what happened there?
McCorkell: No, there’s nothing. We just stopped. I just wanted to clear something up that was on the stream. But we sorted it out off the stream, and it was fine. There was nothing wrong. All three of us that were left sorted it out, and we agreed to something. So, that was fine.
Question: What was your game plan earlier today?
McCorkell: We started ten-handed, so I did play a bit tight when it was ten-handed. But we lost two people real fast. And I thought laddering was important today. I tried and get three-handed to give myself a chance. I’m really confined in my heads up game, so when I got heads up, I felt really, really confident.
Question: What was your goal coming into the WSOP?
McCorkell: I come into every tournament with the possibility of winning it. Last year, I played something like 12 tournaments here and didn’t cash one single tournament. But the year before, I did much better. And I just came into this year feeling good again, just as normal, hoping to do well.
Question: You said you played 12 last year. How many have you played this year?
McCorkell: World Series events -- probably this is like my eighth, maybe my ninth.
Question: Who do you want to give a shout out to, poker-wise or personal-wise?
McCorkell: One of both. My girlfriend has been incredibly supportive. She is coming out tomorrow. It’s a shame she didn’t come out today and was here for today. But I spoke to her straight after I won. Her name is Laura Mackenzie. And Toby Lewis is one of my really good friends in poker. And he’s been really supportive to me. And he is one of my really good friends in poker and one of my really good friends. So, he’s been supportive and great. And it definitely contributed to today’s success.